Signatures on R-71 will remain private for now

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September 11, 2009

OLYMPIA, Washington: On September 10, federal judge Benjamin Settle continued a restraining order against the Washington Secretary of State that forbids that office from releasing to the public the names of those who signed the petition to qualify Washington Referendum 71 for the November 3 ballot.[1][2]

Protect Marriage Washington argued to the judge that releasing the signatures would chill "free speech ... particularly when it is reasonably probable that those exercising their First Amendment rights would be subjected to threats and harassment."[1]

The organization WhoSigned.Org and several others had asked that the Washington Secretary of State release the names to them.

The preliminary injunction entered by Judge Settle was appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on September 11 by Open Government activist Arthur West.[3]

See also

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*Washington Referendum 71 (2009)